IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation) will celebrate its 60th anniversary on 29 November 2012. Please find a list of IPPF activities and a brief report about its cooperation with member association Rutgers WPF.
In the early fifties several organisations in Europe and the USA were advocating for family planning and contraceptives. They met with a great deal of opposition to get accepted what is nowadays taken for granted. People even ended up in prison fighting for their cause. They persisted, however, and kept fighting for change of legislation and morality.
The Dutch Foundation of Sex Reform (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Seksuele Hervorming – NVSH) and predecessor of Rutgers WPF, was one of the founders of IPPF during the third International Conference on family planning in 1952. The Dutch psychiater, sexologist and professor, Coen van Emde Boas (1904-1981), was chosen to be the vice-president in 1953. He was also regional chairman for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
IPPF started her activities in a time in which contraceptives were hard to come by and in which sexuality only occurred within marriage. Both the Church and the State feared that sexuality education would lead to moral degradation. A lot has changed since then thanks to IPPF and its member associations.
Open discussion of sexuality is perfectly possible in the Netherlands, contraceptives are easily available and abortion and gay marriage are legally regulated. And yet … there is still a lot to do in our country, such as supporting people with a mental or physical disability whose sexual needs are often ignored. Young people who find themselves between opposing cultures also come up against problems in this area. Additionally, each year another generation needs sexuality and relationships education.
Rutgers WPF as a member association of IPPF sets great store by advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide. All member organisations reinforce and learn from each other. One example is Rutgers WPF supporting a number of member associations in Asia and Africa by providing knowledge and giving financial support. Other examples are our contribution to European projects such as Countdown 2015 Europe and the research projects SAFE II.
Conference Everything is Possible
Rutgers WPF and IPPF organised the international conference Everything is Possible (EXPO) in The Hague in October 2011. Participants from the Netherlands and abroad were persuaded, inspired and motivated that it is possible to improve young people’s sexual and reproductive rights in the face of all kinds of difficulties and obstacles. As several persons said “I knew it was possible but I am now equipped with more examples of successes, (research)results, best practices, and arguments.” (Please see also: IPPF EN)
Sixty years later IPPF has become a federation of 152 member associations, working in 172 countries. Its members empower the most vulnerable groups of women, men and young people and make sure that these groups get access to the care they need thus enabling them to lead a life of dignity.
Please find a list of IPPF’s achievements of the past sixty years on IPPF's website.
IPPF contributed to making the contraceptive pill accessible to the public, defended gay rights and put sexuality education on the international agenda. IPPF also has obtained a vote in UN-organisations such as ILO, Unicef and WHO and has contributed to international legislation regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights.
We are proud to be a member of the global IPPF family. We congratulate IPPF with its 60th anniversary and undoubtedly will be present again at its 70th jubilee.